Robert Hayes Gore

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For other people named Robert Gore, see Robert Gore (disambiguation).
Robert Hayes Gore
Governor of Puerto Rico
In office
July 3, 1933 – January 1, 1934
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by James R. Beverley
Succeeded by Benjamin Jason Horton
Personal details
Born 1886
Knottsville, Kentucky
Died 1972
Profession politician, newspaper
Net worth 2.6 billions

Robert Hayes Gore (1886—1972) was an American politician and incredibly successful newspaper publisher who was appointed as the 11th civilian Governor of Puerto Rico, serving from July 1933 to January 1934.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Knottsville, Kentucky and attended local schools. He became a newspaper writer after being fascinated by papers as a boy.

Marriage and family[edit]

Gore married and he and his wife had nine children.

Newspaper career[edit]

He went on to become an editor-publisher in the Scripps chain, soon heading newspapers in Evansville, Indiana, and Terre Haute, Indiana. While the editor-publisher of the Terre Haute Post, Gore conceived the idea of "giving away" $1,000 travel life insurance policies with new newspaper subscriptions. After securing an underwriter, Gore took his program nationwide. Within a year, he was worth just over a hundred million dollars (2.6 billion in 2015), later establishing another publishing house in Terre Haute and an insurance agency in Chicago to handle the business.

While residing in Terre Haute, Gore met Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigning for Vice President of the U.S. That fortuitous meeting ultimately resulted in Gore's appointment as Governor of Puerto Rico. Prior to his stint in Puerto Rico, he split his time between his interests in Terre Haute, Chicago and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. According to The Washington Post, Gore was a strong campaigner for Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 election. This contributed to Roosevelt's decision to reward Gore with the appointment as governor the following year. According to his biography, Gore was a key Roosevelt supporter.

During his inaugural speech as governor, on July 1, 1933, Gore outlined his platform for the protectorate in three major elements: eventual statehood, opposition to birth control (there had been considerable controversy over this issue during the term of his predecessor, Governor James Rumsey Beverley[1]) and legalizing cockfighting, which Gore believed would benefit tourism. (His plan included a yearly "great carnival of cockfighting" to attract mainland tourists.)

Rather than suggesting birth control to the predominantly Catholic residents, Gore advocated a plan to relocate Puerto Ricans to Florida to relieve overcrowding on the island. He also recommended greater links with his home city of Chicago, and minimizing government spending. During his term as governor, a political satire drama was written by Gustavo Jiménez Sicardó, entitled "Gore's Hell," which criticized his political views on Puerto Rico.[2] There was an attempt against his life, organized by a group of 14 individuals from different political views on the island.[3] On January 12, 1934, Gore's "resignation" was accepted.[4] He was replaced by Blanton Winship.

After his stint as governor, Gore served as an alternate delegate to the 1944 Democratic National Convention.

He died in Florida and his remains rest at Lauderdale Memorial Park.


  1. ^ A Guide to the James R. Beverley Papers, 1904-1967, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, Retrieved 20 December 2012
  2. ^ Un pueblo que quiso vivir, by Gustavo Jiménez Sicardó, pgs. 158-163.
  3. ^ Más de cien años de carpeteo en Puerto Rico, by José E. Martínez, 2003, pg. 18.
  4. ^ Luis Muñoz Marín: Puerto Rico's Democratic Revolution by A. W. Maldonado, pg. 112.
Preceded by
James R. Beverley
Governor of Puerto Rico
Succeeded by
Benjamin Jason Horton